The New Group Closes RUSSIAN TRANSPORT
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by BWW News Desk
Due to popular demand, The New Group has announced a two-week extension for Russian Transport, which began previews on January 17 and had an Official Opening Night on January 30. Originally slated to run through March 10, this limited engagement will now play through March 24 at The New Group @ Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). This world premiere, written by Erika Sheffer, features Janeane Garofalo, Daniel Oreskes, Morgan Spector, Sarah Steele and Raviv Ullman. Scott Elliott directs.
About the show: "Russian Transport is a suspenseful family drama set in the Russian Jewish community of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Diana and Misha, an immigrant couple, run a struggling car service while trying to carve out the American Dream for their teenagers, Alex and Mira. When Diana’s sexy and mysterious brother Boris arrives to stay with them, family loyalty is tested. For Alex and Mira, Uncle Boris is an exciting addition to their home, but soon Alex is pulled into his Uncle’s dangerous world. Laced with humor and intrigue, Russian Transport captures the complex layers of one very particular immigrant experience."
Russian Transport features Janeane Garofalo (Film: The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion) as “Diana,” Daniel Oreskes (B’way: Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Miracle Worker; Off-B’way at The New Group: Roar, Terrorism) as “Misha,” Morgan Spector (B’way: A View from the Bridge) as “Boris,” Sarah Steele (Off-B’way at The New Group: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Film: Spanglish; TV: “The Good Wife,” “Gossip Girl”) as “Mira” and Raviv Ullman (TV: Disney Channel’s “Phil of the Future”) as “Alex.”
Russian Transport is the Off-Broadway debut of playwright Erika Sheffer. Her other plays include The Drowning Side and short pieces Engaging Dynamic Guest Experience, Likes to Scratch and Something in Your Stomach. Her work has received readings at Naked Angels, Primary Stages, The Woodshed Collective and Personal Space Theatrics in association with The Actors Studio. She has performed original pieces at Upright Citizens Brigade and Dixon Place. She will develop her newest play through a fellowship from SPACE on Ryder Farm. Erika Sheffer founded The Jam Band Writers Group, is a founding member of the 15th Floor Playwrights Collective, and an alumna of The Movement Theatre Company’s 2010 New Works/Moving Up Writers Group. Sheffer has been a finalist for The Estrogenius Festival and a Juilliard fellowship. B.F.A. in drama from Syracuse University.
Director Scott Elliott is the founding Artistic Director of The New Group, a place for artists to experiment, take risks and collaborate in an artist-driven environment. With the company, he has produced over 48 plays, 23 of which he directed, including most recently, Thomas Bradshaw’s Burning, last season’s revival of Wallace Shawn’s Marie and Bruce and the world premiere of Tommy Nohilly’s Blood From A Stone (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play). He also directed The Kid, the musical based on the book by Dan Savage (Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical; Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Musical), Groundswell, Rafta, Rafta…, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Hurlyburly, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, Two Thousand Years, Abigail’s Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose-Pimples and the company’s first production in 1995, Ecstasy. He also directs Broadway shows and writes and directs for film and television.
Russian Transport features Set Design by Derek McLane (B’way: How to Succeed…, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Anything Goes, Million Dollar Quartet and many more; Off-B’way at The New Group: Burning, Marie and Bruce, Blood From A Stone, A Lie of the Mind, The Starry Messenger, others), Lighting Design by Peter Kaczorowski (B’way: Born Yesterday, Anything Goes, That Championship Season, Driving Miss Daisy, Time Stands Still, others; Off-B’way: Burning, The School for Lies, Venus in Fur, more), Costume Design by Ann Hould-Ward (B’way: Beauty and the Beast – Tony Award ®, The People in the Picture, A Free Man of Color, A Catered Affair, Company, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George) and Sound Design by Bart Fasbender (B’way: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Off-B’way: Burning, Terrorism – The New Group, Edgewise, Bad Jazz, A View from 151st Street, Hellhouse). Dialect Coach is Doug Paulson.
The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Geoff Rich, Executive Director) launched its current season with Thomas Bradshaw’s Burning directed by Scott Elliott. Last season, the company presented Tommy Nohilly’s Blood From A Stone featuring Ethan Hawke (Obie winner), the revival of Wallace Shawn’s Marie and Bruce starring Marisa Tomei and Frank Whaley, and One Arm (co-production with Tectonic Theater Project) based on an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams, adapted for the stage and directed by Moisés Kaufman. In 2009-10, The New Group presented the extended run of Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger featuring Matthew Broderick, the sold-out revival of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind directed by Ethan Hawke, and the world premiere of the new musical The Kid. Other productions include Ian Bruce’s Groundswell, Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra, Ayub Khan-Din’s Rafta, Rafta…, Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Things We Want, Jay Presson Allen’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Bernard Weinraub’s The Accomplices. Additional standouts include David Rabe’s Hurlyburly, Mike Leigh’s Two Thousand Years, Abigail’s Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose-Pimples and Ecstasy, Wallace Shawn’s The Fever and Aunt Dan and Lemon, Kenneth Lonergan’s This is Our Youth and Kevin Elyot’s Mouth to Mouth and My Night With Reg. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott were honored with a Special 2010-11 Drama Desk Award “for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.”
Russian Transport plays at The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theatre / 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Aves) as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 7:00 PM and Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM. Matinees Saturday at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be arranged through www.telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200, or at the Theatre Row Box Office (12–8 PM daily). Tickets are $60.00 plus $1.25 restoration fee. For more info, visit www.thenewgroup.org.